New England Patriots running back James White is expected to miss the rest of the 2021 season with a hip injury, ESPN's Adam Schefter and Field Yates reported on Wednesday.
After further medical examinations this week, Patriots’ RB James White’s hip injury is expected to end his 2021 season, per @FieldYates and me.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 29, 2021
White, an eight-year veteran who has spent his entire career with the Patriots, left Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints relatively early. After his only carry of the game, he was tackled to the ground and immediately started holding onto his right hip. He had to be carted off, but not before pretty much every Patriots player (and one Saints player) came over to see him and wish him well. The 29-year-old White is a team captain who is liked and respected by his teammates for his leadership.
Every player in the team comes over to see James White, the captain who garners such respect. pic.twitter.com/RbHpA38iDn
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 26, 2021
James White has been carted off and ruled out with a hip injury against the Saints. pic.twitter.com/UlLfXgKRK9
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 26, 2021
Replacing White as a team leader will be difficult, but replacing him on the field will be even harder. Since 2015, he has more receptions (376), more receiving yards (3,255), and more receiving touchdowns (25) than any other running back in the NFL. In the first two games of the season, he totaled a team-high 12 receptions for 94 yards, as well as 10 carries for 38 yards.
White is a big loss for the Patriots. Having him on the field during their punchless 28-13 loss to the Saints may not have fixed the team's woes, but it certainly wouldn't have hurt. Once White left, head coach Bill Belichick turned to Brandon Bolden to fill his shoes. Bolden had three catches for 23 yards, and three carries for a net loss of one yard.
According to Andrew Callahan at the Boston Herald, the Pats are expected to use a trio of players to replace White. They'll reportedly go with Bolden, J.J. Taylor, and fourth-round rookie Rhamondre Stevenson.